Society's Child

Heart - Black

At least 135 children killed in Yemen since Saudi-led attack started in March

© Reuters / Khaled Abdullah
Since the Yemeni conflict in March,as many as 135 children were killed and 260 injured, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

At least 135 children have been killed and 260 more injured in the Yemeni conflict since March, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement Sunday.

"Since the conflict escalated in March, as many as 135 children have been killed and 260 injured. Almost one-third of the deaths have been in the coastal city of Aden, where violence has again accelerated over the past few days," UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said.

The UNICEF chief urged all parties to the Yemeni conflict to protect children from harm as required by international humanitarian law.

Lake also called for an end to hostilities in Yemen, adding that at least a humanitarian pause is needed to deliver lifesaving supplies to those affected by the violence.

Cardboard Box

Schools across the country are literally building solitary confinement cells for children

A free-standing isolation booth now banned in Oregon schools.
What is "nor­mal"? Is nor­malcy a con­di­tion of pub­lic accep­tance to com­mon trends and cul­ture? Per it's def­i­n­i­tion, nor­mal is defined as con­form­ing to a stan­dard: usual, typ­i­cal or expected.

If you accept nor­malcy by that def­i­n­i­tion then...

- it is nor­mal for kids in our pub­lic school sys­tem to be locked in soli­tary con­fine­ment (4×4 padded cell) for misbehavior.

- it is nor­mal for each state across the nation to have tens of thou­sands of cases of stu­dents being phys­i­cally restrained. In some cases, even shack­led using hand and ankle cuffs.

- it is nor­mal for our police state to inter­vene with trou­ble­some kids with use of phys­i­cal beat­ings and pep­per spray.

Per­haps you didn't know...

Schools across the coun­try are lit­er­ally build­ing soli­tary con­fine­ment cells for chil­dren. They are very small, some­times padded and have win­dow­less walls with no con­tact to other children.

Comment: Sign of the times that our children are subjected to the same treatment as common criminals and deranged societal deviants. Hadn't we progressed beyond this? Oregon has outlawed this form of constraint and torture in its schools. What is happening to students (nursery school through grade 12) where YOU live? What is normal for YOU?


Homelessness is not an insoluble problem

© Unknown
The costs of homelessness is rarely discussed. We mostly hear statistics about the number of children living on the streets, the vast number of hungry individuals fed in soup kitchens, and the dangers that homeless families face during severe weather.

As communities, we pull together by donating to food banks and participating in homeless outreach programs, even though government regulations are putting limits on where and how we can help the homeless. (see: 90 Year Old Man Arrested for Feeding the Homeless).

We are naturally inclined to want to help people in need, but most of us don't understand the economics of caring for the homeless.

Comment: There is a distinct difference between cultures and city governments that are truly empathic and thus willing to work toward solving the problems that create homelessness and those who are psychopathic and would rather avoid responsibility by keeping those less fortunate out of sight and out of mind. People need to understand that these problems can be solved if there is a concerted effort and a willingness to do so. The costs of not doing this are far more than just financial as a society that deliberately ignores its most vulnerable is issuing an invitation to widespread and inevitable social decline and degeneration.


Train derails while crossing bridge in Assam, India

© Ruptly video screenshot
A train has derailed in Assam, India, seriously injuring its driver and causing minor injuries to some passengers. The accident occurred as the train was about to cross a bridge.

The accident in Kokrajhar district occurred between Salakati and Basugaon at 5:15 a.m. local time Saturday, according to Northeast Frontier Railway spokesman Jayamta Sarma, as cited by India Today.

Officials said the train was running at a slow speed when the derailment happened, which is why there were not more serious injuries or deaths.


John Nash and wife killed in car crash

John Forbes Nash Jr., the famed mathematician and inspiration for the film A Beautiful Mind, and his wife died in a car crash Saturday in New Jersey, according to state police.

Nash, 86, and wife Alicia Nash, 82, were riding in a taxi near Monroe Township when the incident occurred, State Police Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Williams said.

They were traveling southbound in the left lane when the taxi went out of control while trying to pass another car, Williams said.

The car crashed into the guard rail, and the couple was ejected from the vehicle. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Comment: It is pretty strange that the driver and the other occupant were barely hurt.

Other articles on John Nash and Game Theory:


Facebook activity, status updates reflect people's personality traits - report

© Reuters/Dada Ruvic
People suffering from low self-esteem are more likely to post their relationship status on Facebook, a new study has found.

A report from Brunel University, published Friday, found that the popular Facebook "relationship status" feature was used by individuals with low self-esteem to generate attention to distract from their own feelings.

"People with low self-esteem are more likely to see the advantage of self-disclosing on Facebook rather than in person," the report said.

However, rather than providing a boost of self-confidence, the romantic status posts "tend to be perceived as less likeable," it added.

Data collected from a sample of 555 Facebook users took into account the frequency with which users engaged with the social network, whether or not they were involved in a relationship and the amount of time they spent checking Facebook.

"Sixty-five percent of participants were currently involved in a romantic relationship, and 34 percent had at least one child," the report said.

A total of 57 percent checked Facebook on a daily basis, and spent an average of 108 minutes a day actively using it, it added.

Comment: What our society has become is far more scandalous, spooky and disturbing.

Black Magic

Another botched rape case: Baton Rouge woman drugged, sexually assaulted and photographed; no charges filed against rapist


Lyndsi Lambert
Lyndsi Lambert said she was convinced that in Sgt. Jacques Jackson's mind, her entire case was riding on smartphone photos.

If the device taken from the man that she accused last September of drugging and sexually assaulting her contained the sexually explicit pictures that she remembers him taking of her, there would be sufficient evidence to bring charges.

The pictures were critical to the case, because the sheriff's office's strategy was to charge the man with video voyeurism, a more straightforward crime to prove than sexual assault.

Lambert felt that Jackson, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office sergeant leading the investigation, was too focused on the photos and not enough on the potential for rape charges. Her hopes for a quick arrest were dashed, she said, when Jackson called several days after taking the man's phone to inform her that no photos of her from that night were on it.

Unless the man distributed the photos somewhere, she says Jackson told her, the police couldn't substantiate her claims.

The man told police he deleted the photos after Lambert's sister questioned him about them, and because they were "dark," according to the case file.

Lambert said she thought Jackson was too quick to accept that explanation. The man's statement confirmed that sexual pictures were taken, something Lambert said she would not have allowed.

Comment: Rape Culture in America - How the system protects the rapists and fails the victims

Magic Hat

'Equality' in Ireland as voters back same-sex marriage in referendum

© Reuters / Cathal McNaughton
A same-sex marriage supporter reacts at Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland May 23, 2015.
Irish voters have given their resounding support to same-sex marriage in a popular vote that vaults this tiny and once-conservative country to the forefront of the global gay-rights movement.

After a referendum on changing the Irish constitution to recognise gay marriage that has dominated discussion here for months and generated huge interest abroad, the official result announced before a cheering crowd in Dublin Castle on Saturday showed that nearly two-thirds of voters of voters backed the measure.

It is the most radical social change Irish voters have ever been asked to approve.

The result means that Ireland is the first country to introduce same-sex marriage through a popular vote rather than through legislation or the courts. It reinforces the diminished role of the Catholic Church in shaping Irish society. It also suggests that social changes under way over the past two decades are more far-reaching than Irish political and religious leaders imagined.

"For me, this is not so much a referendum, it is more a social revolution in Ireland," said Leo Varadkar, the health minister. "It makes us a beacon of equality and liberty for the rest of the world." Diarmuid Martin, the archbishop of Dublin, told RTE the result was "a reality check" for the church in its relations with Irish society.

© Reuters / Cathal McNaughton
Same-sex marriage supporters pose for a photograph at Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland May 23, 2015.

Comment: "This is about a new republic. It was not just a yes, but a resounding yes, for a new, open, equal society."

Meanwhile, institutionalised pedophilia is still prevalent in Ireland as the violent, sexual abusers of children are still protected by the state.

Irish schoolchildren continue to be taught lies about their own history - the Irish Holocaust, or the 'Great Famine' (Irish potato famine), as it is still euphemistically termed.

The greedy bankers who manipulated the Irish Government into a 16 billion dollar bailout in 2008, effectively robbing generations of Irish people, have not been brought to justice, and could be seen on tape laughing about never repaying the bailout money.

Irish police clamp down on water charge protesters, resulting from the severe austerity measures subsequently implemented.

Such emphasis on 'openness and equality' on gay marriage in Ireland - but what about these other issues?


Ohio cop who shot unarmed civilians cleared from charges, sparks Cleveland protests

© Reuters / Tony Dejak
Michael Brelo
An Ohio police officer has been found not guilty of the voluntary manslaughter of two unarmed black motorists. The verdict has prompted protests in Cleveland, with authorities bracing for the possibility of additional demonstrations.

Cleveland officer Michael Brelo, 31, faced two counts of voluntary manslaughter after mounting the hood of the suspects' car and firing shots into their windshield in 2012. He faced up to 22 years in prison if found guilty.

But Cuyahoga County Judge John P. O'Donnell ruled on Saturday that Brelo's "entire use of deadly force was a constitutionally reasonable response to an objectively reasonably perceived threat of great bodily harm."

The verdict was met with protests from those who say the shooting was racially motivated, as Brelo is white and the motorists were black. Standing at the doors of the Justice Department where Brelo was found not guilty, the demonstrators shouted "No justice, no peace."

A line of police officers in riot gear was initially shown at the doors, though officers later retreated inside.

Brelo was one of 13 officers who fired 137 shots at a car with Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams inside, following a high-speed chase on November 29, 2012.

Bacon n Eggs

France passes legislation barring supermarkets from spoiling, throwing away food; 1.3bn tons wasted worldwide

Legislation barring stores from spoiling and throwing away food is aimed at tackling epidemic of waste alongside food poverty
© The Independent
French supermarkets will be banned from throwing away or destroying unsold food and must instead donate it to charities or for animal feed, under a law set to crack down on food waste.

The French national assembly voted unanimously to pass the legislation as France battles an epidemic of wasted food that has highlighted the divide between giant food firms and people who are struggling to eat.

As MPs united in a rare cross-party consensus, the centre-right deputy Yves Jégo told parliament: "There's an absolute urgency - charities are desperate for food. The most moving part of this law is that it opens us up to others who are suffering."

Supermarkets will be barred from deliberately spoiling unsold food so it cannot be eaten. Those with a footprint of 4,305 sq ft (400 sq m) or more will have to sign contracts with charities by July next year or face penalties including fines of up to €75,000 (£53,000) or two years in jail.

"It's scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods," said the Socialist deputy Guillaume Garot, a former food minister who proposed the bill.

In recent years, French media have highlighted how poor families, students, unemployed or homeless people often stealthily forage in supermarket bins at night to feed themselves, able to survive on edible products which had been thrown out just as their best-before dates approached.

Comment: With extreme weather, the collapsing global economy, and the destruction of the ecosystem of our planet, food waste will soon be the least of France's worries.

See also: UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013: Collapse of global food supply inevitable